The hemagglutinin/esterase gene of human coronavirus strain OC43: Phylogenetic relationships to bovine and murine coronaviruses and influenza C virus

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The complete nucleotide sequences of the hemagglutinin/esterase (HE) genes of human coronavirus (HCV) strain OC43 and bovine respiratory coronavirus (BRCV) strain G95 were determined from single-stranded cDNA fragments generated by reverse transcription of virus-specific mRNAs and amplified by polymerase chain reaction. An open reading frame of 1272 nucleotides was identified as the putative HE gene by homology to the bovine coronavirus HE gene. This open reading frame encodes a protein of 424 amino acids with an estimated molecular weight of 47.7 kDa. Ten potential N-linked glycosylation sites were predicted in the HE protein of HCV-OC43 while nine of them were present in BRCV-G95. Fourteen cysteine residues were conserved in the HE proteins of both viruses. Two hydrophobic sequences at the N-terminus and the C-terminus may serve as signal peptide and transmembrane anchoring domain, respectively. The predicted HE protein of HCV-OC43 was 95% identical to the HEs of BRCV-G95 and other bovine coronaviruses, and 60% identical to the HEs of mouse hepatitis viruses. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the HE genes of coronaviruses and influenza C virus have a common ancestral origin, and that bovine coronaviruses and HCV-OC43 are closely related. © 1992.

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